VP Academic: Shannon O’Connor

Shannon O’Connor is ready to enter her second year as an SU representative in the position of VP academic without ever having won an SU election. Even though O’Connor was acclaimed academic commissioner last year, and acclaimed again this year, students could not ask for a student better suited to move into the position of VP academic.

O’Connor’s term as an academic commissioner has provided her with solid knowledge of the operations of both the Students’ Legislative Council and the Students’ Academic Assembly. She’s familiar with some major on-going issues under the academic portfolio, such as ineffective USRIs, and changes to improve the effectiveness of SAA. She also has some new ideas for projects, notably a plan to increase undergraduate research opportunities.

One new idea which O’Connor will experience difficulty with is her promise to create an on-line exam bank. The idea sounds good in practice, but has already met much resistance from academic student clubs, which rely on maintaining sole access to previous exams to increase membership and as their main source of revenue. It is important to note that the idea of the on-line exam bank is not new, it was promised as part of the platform of out-going VP academic Paige Forsyth, but she has not been able to complete this promise yet due to the very issues O’Connor will have to deal with.

The criticisms of O’Connor are minimal in comparison with the passion and competence she will bring to her new role as VP academic. Students can be assured that another candidate, elected or not, could not be better suited to the position than O’Connor.

How will you effectively manage all of your committee obligations?

“I am ready to bring a student voice to those committees. I’m not afraid to pipe up when I have a concern about something or feel strongly. I’d also like to make what those committees do known to SAA and then to all students.”

What are your plans to address issues with USRIs?

“I’d like to see them go back to paper, at least until the on-line USRI is fixed. The whole MyUCalgary doesn’t really work. I’d like to see on-line USRIs really accessible and really easy to use. I’d also like to make USRI questions more relevant to students.”

How do you plan to make use of the Campus Improvement Fund?

“I’d like to encourage faculty reps to start using that money right away. I’ll provide the resources for the faculty reps to actually use the campus improvement fund.”


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